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Torrance crash closes stretch of PCH

December 9, 2011 |  6:57 am

Pch crash
A short stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance was closed Friday morning as officers investigated the fatal crash of a stolen car being driven by a woman who was chased for two miles by Torrance police at speeds exceeding 100 mph, police said.

Coroner’s officials were on the scene retrieving the body of the woman, who has not been identified. No officers were hurt in the chase.

The highway was closed between Pennsylvania Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard until at least 7 a.m.

“It was an explosive crash. There’s debris everywhere,” said Torrance police Sgt. Keith Fournier.

Fournier said that at about 2:20 a.m., Torrance officers spotted the car at Pacific Coast Highway and Anza Avenue, which turned out to have been reported stolen earlier this week. When they turned on lights and sirens, the car sped off south down the highway, police said.

At times, the car hit speeds of over 100 mph with eventually three police cars in pursuit.

Officers slowed to prepare to go through a stale red light, Fournier said. The driver of the car went through the intersection at over 100 mph. After Crenshaw, the highway curves.

When the officers drove through the intersection and around the curve, they saw no sign of the car, Fournier said.

“They were looking for her tail lights,” he said.

Residents, however, flagged down another police car to tell them that the driver had missed the curve and skidded into a large eucalyptus tree on the north side of the highway.

Because the crash involved a police pursuit, the department has called in the California Highway Patrol to conduct an investigation, Fournier said.

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 -- Sam Quinones

twitter.com/samquinones7

Photo: Authorities are investigating a fatal crash of a stolen car on Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance. Credit: KTLA-TV

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